The Minnesota School of Business-St. Cloud launched its first Lunch and Learn speaker series with Dennis Smith, Executive Director of Winning Marriage Equality Now. Students and staff brought lunch and listened as the former teacher, coach and motivational speaker challenged the St. Cloud campus to become “opening, safe and welcoming to everybody.”
Smith urged people to a call of civil discourse on the topic of same-sex marriage and quoted Pope John Paul II and Abraham Lincoln when suggesting each individual launch his/her “own mission to move away from judgment and condemnation and move towards love and acceptance.”
Admitting his bias against an amendment on the 2012 ballot in Minnesota which would make same-sex marriage unconstitutional, Smith advocated that students open up the discussion on equality–leaving aside the emotion–and engage in reasonable discussion. He quoted from both historical and personal experience when discussing the issue, including examples of inter-racial marriage, the Little Rock 9 and women “winning” the right to vote.
“A lot of times,” he reminded the audience, “it just takes one person to stand up and take the leadership.”
The next presentation in the Lunch and Learn series will be on November 16, 2011 from the Central Minnesota Sexual Assault Center.